irish banknotes
Irish paper money
Link to Irish papermoney Forum
Interlink icon
Link to Irishpapermoney main page


Search irishpapermoney.com

Home < Main Site Map > Banknotes of the Irish Private Banks >
Beresford's Bank and Ball's Bank, Dublin


Banknotes of the Irish Private Banks
Beresford's Bank and Ball's Bank
1793-1888 merged



Tuam, Co Galway, Ireland mapBeresford, One Guinea

Beresford's Bank 1793-1810, Ball's Bank 1810-1888



John Claudius Beresford & Benjamin Ball


Beresford's Bank 1793

John Claudius Beresford (1766-1846) founded a bank in Dublin in 1793, initially with two partners, James Woodmason and Thomas Needham. A fourth partner joined the bank in 1795, Sir Thomas Lighton. However, in August 1797 Lighton and Needham withdrew from the partnership and proceeded to form their own bank.

Beresford’s bank was based in Beresford Place in Dublin city centre. It became one of the major private banking houses in Dublin. The bank grew rapidly and had the largest (currency) circulation in Ireland by 1803 (Barrow 1975, p. 206). Its average yearly note issue in the period 1799-1803 was £700,000-£800,000. In 1808 the bank moved its office to Henry Street, Dublin, from where it operated for the following 80 years.

Beresford was an important person in Dublin society, with strong political interests. He was a leading member of the Orange Order and set up a lodge in Dublin in 1795. He was MP for Swords in the Irish House of Commons (1790-1798), and then for Dublin city (1798-1801). In 1800 he voted against the Act of Union, and then went on to serve as Tory MP for Dublin City (1801-1804).

In 1810 John Claudius Beresford withdrew from the bank business because of personal financial difficulties which lead to his bankruptcy. Interestingly, he recovered from his bankruptcy and went on to serve as Lord Mayor of Dublin (1814-1815). He subsequently retired from politics.

Ball's Bank 1810

However, the bank was unaffected by Berseford’s personal bankruptcy, and was taken over by the remaining partners, who had all joined the bank in 1808, lead by Benjamin Ball. This change in ownership was published at the time of the bankruptcy proceedings against Beresford in 1811 (Kenny and Turner 2019).

The bank went on to become known as Ball's Bank, and continued to prosper as one of Ireland’s leading private banks. Ball & Co. lasted for many years, surviving several crises, and still retains a reputation as one of the most solid of the Irish private banks.

During the 1820 crisis, Ball's bank, as a solid institution, was aided by the Bank of Ireland which discounted £40,000 worth of bills.

In 1826 the senior partner Benjamin Ball collapsed and died while in London, attending a pantomime performance of Oberon. His son, James Benjamin Ball then took his father's place as lead partner in the bank.

Ball's Bank, among others, again sought aid from Bank of Ireland during the crisis of 1836, and received £10,000 as a short term liquidity loan against security provided by Ball's.

By 1837, Ball's Bank was the only private bank which still issued notes (Young, 1973).

Merger with The Northern Banking Company 1888

Ball's Bank was taken over by The Northern Banking Company Limited in 1888 when it established a branch in Dublin.

The bank went through several partnership changes as both Beresford’s and Ball’s Bank. These are listed below.


Known Note issues 1794-1833


Five Series of notes known for Beresford's Bank and Ball's Bank

There are five Series of banknotes and post bills for Beresford's Bank and Ball's banks by design, and ten Types by partnership.

As the bank was a prosperous and successful venture, only a handfull of currency issues survive. Most of the surviving issues are post bills.

Known note issues are listed and illustrated. Other denominations cretainly existed, and other Types are likely.


Beresford & Co. 1793-1810


Six Types by partnership.
Type A. 1793-1794. J.C. Beresford, James Woodmason, Thomas Needham.
Type B. 1794-1797. J.C. Beresford, Sir Thomas Lighton, James Woodmason, Thomas Needham.
Type C. 1797-1798. J.C. Beresford, James Woodmason.
Type D. 1798-1799. J.C. Beresford, James Woodmason, James Farrel.
Type E. 1799-1808. J.C. Beresford, James Woodmason.
Type F. 1808-1810. J.C. Beresford, Benjamin Ball, Mathew James Plunkett, Philip Doyne Jnr.



Ball & Co. 1810-1888


The partnerships listed below are those which issued notes. James Benjamin Ball became the lead partner in 1826 taking over from his father, Benjamin. It is believed that Ball & Co. was the last private bank to issue notes in Ireland.

Four Types by partnership.
Type G. 1810-1815. Benjamin Ball, Matthew James Plunkett, Philip Doyne Jnr.
Type H. 1815-1826. Benjamin Ball, Matthew James Plunkett, Philip Doyne Jnr, Henry Samuel Close.
Type I. 1826-1834 James Benjamin Ball, Matthew James Plunkett, Philip Doyne Jnr, Henry Samuel Close.
Type J. 1834-1848 James Benjamin Ball, Philip Doyne Jnr, Henry Samuel Close.

Few notes of Ball & Co. have come to market in recent years although several denominations have been reported.


Beresford's Bank and Ball's Bank, Known Note Issues


Series 1.

Beresford & Co 10 Pounds Post Bill 1st Dec 1794
John Claudius Beresford & Co., 10 Pounds Post Bill, 1st Dec 1794


Series 2.

Beresford 3 Guineas 14th Dec 1802 contemporary forgery
Beresford's Bank, 3 Guineas, 14th Dec 1802, contemporary forgery


Beresford & Co 5 Guineas Post Bill 2nd June 1807
Beresford & Co., 5 Guineas Post Bill, dated 2nd June 1807


Series 3.

Beresfordss Bank, 1 Guinea, 14th Jan 1807. John Claudius Beresford, James Woodmason
Beresford's Bank, 1 Guinea, 14th Jan 1807. John Claudius Beresford, James Woodmason


Series 4,

John Claudius Beresford & Co., Four Pounds Post Bill, unissued

John Claudius Beresford & Co., Four Pounds Post Bill, unissued, ca1808


Series 5,

James Benjamin Ball & Co 3 Pound Post Bill unissued ca1826-1834

James Benjamin Ball & Co., 3 Pound Post Bill, unissued ca1826-1834




References

Barrow, G. L. (1972). “Some Dublin Private Banks” Dublin Historical Record Vol. 25, No. 2 (Mar., 1972), pp. 38-53.
Barrow, G. L. (1975). The Emergence of the Irish Banking System 1820-1845, Gill & Macmillan.
Kenny, S., Turner, J. D. (2019). "Wildcat bankers or political failure? The Irish financial pantomime, 1797-1826", European Review of Economic History 24(4).

Young, D. (Nov-Dec 1972). The Private Banks and Their Notes, Beresford & Co. 1794-1810, Irish Numismatics Magazine, No. 30, pp. 230-231.
Young, D. (January-February 1973). The Private Banks and Their Notes, Benjamin Ball & Co. Dublin 1810-1888, Irish Numismatics Magazine, No. 31, pp. 11-12.
John Claudius Beresford (1766-1846), Dublin politician, Member of Parliament and banker.





logo

www.irishpapermoney.com Version 3.0.0 Last update COPYRIGHT ©2000, 2009, 2015, 2021, M Mac Devitt. Reproduction with citation permitted.
em001